Delhiites to witness spring equinox today

Science body tries to get kids carry out experiments

Science enthusiasts will measure the shortest shadow at noon on Wednesday on equinox, when the sun shines directly overhead as viewed from the Earth, making night and day equally long.

Equinox occurs twice a year (around March 21 and September 22) when day and night have approximately equal length. The name equinox is derived from Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night).

In Delhi, an NGO, Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) will encourage schoolchildren and science enthusiasts to observe the equinox day by conducting various experiments using sundial at Bara Pullah here.

Under the NGO’s ‘Project Paridhi: Measure the Earth Again’, students will take actual measurements of the shadows made by the sun to compute the size of the Earth and its shape as was done centuries ago by Greek astronomer Eratosthenes, the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth.

“The Project Paridhi will help in calculating the circumference of our planet using shadows of the sun, backyard tools and simple trigonometry and geometry concepts,” SPACE director C B Devgun said. On the equinox day, the sun moves across the celestial equator, which lies directly above the Earth’s equator. During the crossing, the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west.

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